The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Obama Election-Night Party To Be More Convention Than Rock Concert

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Oct 18, 2012 3:20PM

President Barack Obama's campaign will dial back the Obamapalooza party this year. Instead of the outdoor gathering in Grant Park that Obama held in 2008, sources told the Sun-Times' Lynn Sweet that the president will hold the election night celebration/pity party at the McCormick Place convention center.

That means that instead of the electric, emotional environment of a rock concert that the President-elect hosted in 2008, Chicago gets the sterility of the auto show — which actually suits the 2012 campaign cry of "Are we there yet?"

The Obama campaign has not confirmed any solid plans for an election-night rally yet, but a source told the Tribune that "an indoor rally made security and logistics easier, avoiding the need to rent a lot of equipment and to prepare for the possibility of rain." It also shrinks the crowd size, and McCormick Place already hosted a "national special security event" when it hosted the NATO summit in May.

Ok, sure, it makes sense to prepare for rain and security problems. But why is it 2008 candidate Obama and his campaign could pull off an election night hootenanny, while 2012 President Obama and all his Secret Service agents are hesitant to hold a soiree? Has the political environment become that much more contentious in four years?

According to The Hill, police departments took special precautions in 2008 in case public reaction "spiraled out of control," and authorities are actually less worried about election night riots than four years ago. But fears of election night riots persist. The Drudge Report last week linked to a race-baiting conspiracy website, and a number of other right-wing websites have discussed it.